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Yoox Is in Talks to Acquire Net-a-Porter

Last week, reports emerged that Amazon was looking to buy the luxury fashion site. Now it's got some competition.
Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet. Photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Last Thursday, WWD reported that Amazon was in talks with Richemont to buy luxury e-commerce site Net-a-Porter, though neither party officially confirmed it. Fast forward to Monday: Richemont has put out a release saying that it's in talks with fashion e-commerce conglomerate Yoox Group about a potential sale.

"With reference to what has appeared in the press, Compagnie Financière Richemont SA clarifies that discussions are currently underway with YOOX S.p.A. regarding a potential business combination between YOOX S.p.A. and The Net-A-Porter Group Ltd," the company said in a statement.

Yoox Group confirmed the news on its own investor relations site, sending its stock price up nearly 10 percent Monday morning. Whether a deal with Amazon is still in play remains unclear; a rep for Richemont declined to comment.

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Given Yoox's strong ties to luxury brands — it runs its own suite of shopping sites, in addition to powering the e-commerce destinations of luxury brands like Marni, Valentino and Moschino — it seems like an easy fit for Net-a-Porter. (Yoox CEO Federico Marchetti stated last year it considers Net-a-Porter its "biggest competitor.") Amazon, meanwhile, has had a tough time courting the high-fashion world — though many brands refuse to sell through the site, their products still find their way onto Amazon's pages via third-party retailers — and an acquisition of Net-a-Porter could help it break into that part of the market.

How is this thing going to shake out? Well, Yoox and Net-a-Porter both say that they'll "update the market as appropriate in due course."